Nathanael Cruz Salem Red Sox Pitcher

       
 
Age: 21
Born: February 4, 2003
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, DR
Height: 6-2
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
   
Drafted: Not draft eligible
How Acquired: International free agent
(July 2019)
College: -
High School: -
   

Photo © Bryan Green
Pronunciation: nuh-THANN-yull
First Pro Contract: July 2, 2019 (BOS)
Signing Scouts: Manny Nanita & Eddie Romero
Signing Bonus: $200,000
Rule 5 Draft Eligible: December 2024
MLFA Eligible: November 2026
   
Pro Debut: July 16, 2021 (FCL)
Added to 40-man: -
MLB Debut: -
Service Time (1/24): 0 days
Options Remaining: 3 (0 used)
Contract (2024): MiLB contract
   
Twitter: -
Instagram: -

 
 
 
 
 
     
  Scouting Report & Links      
         
  Physical Description: Average frame with some remaining projection. Has filled out considerably since he signed and seen his athleticism decrease.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Medium-high leg kick. Inconsistent mechanics. Short arm action.

Fastball: 91-93 mph. Topped out in the high-90s and sat 93-95 mph in previous seasons, but has not shown that type of velocity in 2023. Pitch shows arm-side run, but he really struggles with his command and control.

Changeup: 85-87 mph. Plays well given his arm action, which allows him to push it and turn it over. Shows some feel already. Did not throw in outings scouted during Spring Training 2023. Flashed above-average potential in the past, but unclear where pitch stands now.

Curveball: 80-82 mph. Short, vertical break. Does not consistently snap it off. Has the tendency to lose his arm slot and get more on the side of it, causing it to roll to the plate. Below-average potential.
  Career Notes: Participated in 2020 Fall Instructional league. Was removed after walking two hitters on August 6, 2021 and did not pitch for the rest of the 2021 season. Was included on the roster for the 2021 Fall Performance Program, but it is unclear how much he participated. Began the 2022 season in Low-A Salem, but exited his first start in the second inning with an injury. Rehabbed in Fort Myers before seeing game action in June in the FCL and returned to Salem in August 2022. Worked in a starter/piggyback role in the past but transitioned into a true short relief role in 2023.

Summation: Potential low-minors depth arm unless stuff comes back. Was once a very intriguing arm with impressive present velocity, but has seen his body, delivery and velocity all back up over the last few years. Injuries have slowed development as he has missed significant time in both of his professional seasons.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in regular season game action.

Links
State of the System: Low Minors Pitchers (4.2.2020)
Scout Chatter (12.4.2020)
Scout Chatter (9.14.2021)
Scouting Report Update (3.12.2022)
 
   
     
    Pitching Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l era g gs sv ip h r er hr hbp bb so whip k/9 bb/9
2021 FCL Red Sox FCL Rk Bos 18 0 0 3.18 4 3 0 5.2 4 2 2 2 1 3 8 1.24 12.70 4.80
  2022 FCL Red Sox FCL Rk Bos 19 0 0 2.55 8 7 0 17.2 11 5 5 1 1 12 19 1.30 9.94 6.11
2022 Salem Red Sox Car A Bos 19 0 0 7.85 8 3 1 18.1 20 16 16 6 4 13 15 1.80 7.36 6.38
  2023 Salem Red Sox Car A Bos 20 3 2 5.14 25 0 0 42.0 32 29 24 2 8 36 45 1.62 9.64 7.71
  2023 TBD --- --- Bos 20     stats                            
   
     
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